Guatemalan indigenous designs win new respect

English: Traditional highland weavings, and wo...

English: Traditional highland weavings, and woman using a backstrap loom, Guatemala. Suomi: Perinteisiä Guatemalan ylänköjen kudontatöitä Italiano: Tipici tappeti del Guatemala עברית: אריגה מסורתית בגווטמאלה 日本語: 腰機(バックストラップ織機)を使うグアテマラの女性 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With their brightly colored fabrics filled with animals and landscapes, Guatemala’s indigenous had long used textiles to tell stories and share their visions of the universe. In modern times, however, those same fabrics made their wearers targets for discrimination, marking them as part of the country’s poor and indigenous.

Now, embroidered Mayan textiles known as huipiles are undergoing a revival in some of the country’s finest boutiques as they become a haute couture fixture. Young Guatemalan designers are using them for everything from evening gowns and purses to handmade shoes sold as far away as Dubai.

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